Mobile App Development: Is It Right For My Business?
“Mobile application development represents a significant cost, and I’m not exactly sure how much I will get back on my investment.”
Most businesses will be looking back at 2019 or 2020 ten years from now and find themselves upset they failed to take advantage when the market was empty and easy. Why didn’t they build an app for their business when the market and their industry was underserved? How can YOU avoid looking back with regret?
What you’re probably asking is: “Mobile application development: is it right for my business? If now is the time to take advantage of it… how can I do it, and who will help me?”
Mobile application development costs money. It’s true, and there’s no way to sugarcoat it. Most people are asking: “How can my business afford to do this?”, but should be asking “How much money will my business lose if I fail to do this?”
Mobile Application Development Example: Cleaning Company
Not every business can benefit from a mobile Application. For example, if you are a single housecleaner, having a new mobile application for your business is probably not feasible. You can watch your own calendar, schedule your own affairs, collect fees and order supplies on your own.
On the other hand, if you are a medium-sized business with a handful of housecleaning teams, this could be a fantastic item. Imagine being able to communicate back-and-forth between your customers, clients and workers and automating services. This could allow you to know where your teams are, what speed they’re traveling at, and what routes they are taking to get to their delivery. Your team could take photos of possible problems when they arrive at the address, and Completed jobs— allowing you to have 100% knowledge of issues as they occur, and updating clients in real-time of how each room is cleaned, and perhaps even how long certain rooms take. Your customers could request optional cleanings (such as dusting or mopping) or extra cleanings (such as 3 cleanings in the month instead of two). It could allow your rental clients to request move in or move out cleanings for Just In Time service. Your team could order supplies on the fly, or requisition them from your warehouse locations so they can pick them up while traveling or be ready for next-day service. Before long, you’d wonder how you got along without it, and your customers will be able to place orders for service anytime without call restrictions or scheduling services.
Tourist locations walk a fine line: They are heavily customer-service oriented, but they have to be able to meet scheduling needs at the drop of a hat. They interact with other tourist attractions and points of interest, building an experience based upon relationships, referrals, and reselling. Consider how they might be able to benefit from a location-oriented mobile application.
Imagine an app for your location which allows your customers to have the opportunity for booking locations which have great relationships with you and your services. The scheduling functions could ensure that services are available on the days and times which your customers need, allowing each agent or customer build the itinerary that fits their schedule and timing. Your customers could make connections with local businesses and their specials. They could find deals and special offers on travel packages, hotel rooms rates, sister organizations, museums and other exciting areas attractions which you allow to be found openly or built from a curated list of partners. Being a reseller for an area attraction could net your business a fair amount of money, and if people use your mobile application to purchase these services, the relationships will only get better. Also, having the ability to use push notifications to let customers know of special events which are happening, special celebrations, (and perhaps even donor opportunities) could be a great way for you to keep a close connection with your customers. Of course, purchasing package deals, tickets, meals or drink purchases ahead of time could also be great options to boost your bottom line.
With tourism, you’re selling an experience. Imagine what you could do to enhance the experience of your customers by simply giving them the ability to purchase, plan, and schedule that perfect visit!
Smaller firms with mobile applications specific to their organization can really open the door for a great series of communications between customers and medical technicians. Imagine having the ability to book your appointment with a full view of day/week openings without having to deal with a scheduling service, worrying about office hours, finding a computer. Your customers could use the camera on their devices to ask for consultation with the on-call nurse if there are medical concerns. Customers could have full access to their labs, results, and imaging directly on their devices. Requesting prescription refills, paying for visits or payment plans could all be handled directly through your app, only requiring followups and approvals during standard working hours. Imagine avoiding paper billing completely as all users take control of their accounts with full view of insurance information and remaining balances.
Every company is different, and sometimes services are seen as cold and clinical— even when you’re providing the friendly services which help people stay healthy and happy for as long as possible. Consider how a service-oriented application could really make things easier while bringing convenience to your customers.
Service stations, sales, repair and maintenance locations for vehicles could heavily benefit from mobile app design for business. Imagine, if as a customer, you were able to see the state of your vehicle repair in real time— which mechanic or technician is working on your vehicle? What if you could tell that the repair or recall was moving along on time, or faster than usual? Think how convenient could it be to schedule the purchase of new tires, tire rotation, and alignment while on the road. Better yet, what if a push notification could reach your customers, letting them know that they need an oil change every few months, or that many cars require a 50,000 mile Upkeep, and now would be a “good time to schedule one”. How great would it be if you could message your customer in the middle of an inspection to let them know they need a headlight replacement to pass, and you could provide it if they agree. Perhaps there are deals in which a customer could receive a notification about referring a friend for a special deal, deals on tires in overstock, or select services such as freon treatments.
Customers often find they are in the dark about mechanical methods. One day it works, and the next day a problem just seems to “materialize”. Imagine the clarity a customer could have knowing what’s happening with their vehicle when its out of sight while being able to use your app to plan ahead effectively.
Restaurant apps goes well beyond being able to showcase menus or taking pictures of food. Imagine if your customers could order take out, see an estimated completion time and pay right in your app, knowing that when they show up the food will be bagged up and ready to go. Sure, they could see menus, weekly specials, and order catering or delivery services if you have them. Push notifications about new deals could pop up on your customer’s phones when they are driving within 5 miles of your location the area, prompting them to visit. What if they could purchase two drinks for the price of one as long as they paid in advance, or get a free kids takeout with a full price lunch? Being able to set a table reservation, get a specific table, or be notified when their table is ready could also be quite nice. What about rewards offers? Receiving coupons or being able to keep track of “buy five, get a sixth free” lunch specials are fine. It also offers a great way for people to rate and respond to your meals in a feedback system you will be able to respond to without being badmouthed online.
You might also be able to increase engagement by your customers by being able to poll customers for which weekly specials they prefer before setting your menus. What if everyone who voted for a particular special could receive a coupon or notification when the item appeared as a weekly special? opportunity. It might keep your customers voting in the future.
Mobile App development in the restaurant business offers people the opportunity to give feedback, get specialized and targeted rewards, as well as pay for the products they want— all without tying up your phone lines and cashier staff. It won’t diminish the experience of visiting your location, but could certainly entice people to make the decision to choose you and your business over the competition.
Most entertainment locations are forcibly passive, requiring people to come to them and leaning heavily on advertising and flyers to do the heavy lifting. Imagine pushing notifications directly to your customers. Clubs can certainly benefit by letting people know when special events, such as “ladies night” or celebrity drop-ins might boost attendee numbers. Your app could do more than simply have a calendar, offering full flyers delivered to account holders or push messages indicating special bands or quests will be playing. What if your typical “down time” days could include notifications for dart tournament entries, have an online open mic signup, or otherwise keep customers in touch. Some locations offer special venues which are not normally taken advantage of (a bar in my town which also serves food has a specialty service on Sunday afternoon is called “a wing and a prayer”, where different church groups get together over food, hymns, and beverages to enjoy some Bible study), but what if you could spread the awareness of these venues?
Again, as above with restaurant locations, polls and drink specials are a great way to keep everybody on board, as well as ensuring that you’re keeping the customers engaged. What if your customers could “thumbs up”, “shmeh”, or “thumbs down” each band they see at your location? People who consistently participate in polls might be allowed to request specialty bands or groups come to town. Still better, some app users might be able to vote with their pocketbooks.
Bringing the wants and needs of your customers into focus is a great way to keep your location in business. Rather than posting adverts and hoping someone will see it, why not advertise directly to the customers who frequent your location. Of course, drink specials allowed through the app wouldn’t hurt.
Appointments aren’t easy to come by— they are hard to make, and are often dependent upon a scheduler who is frequently with a client or on the other line. What if you have the ability to automate those activities so you could focus on your customers all the time? Allowing all appointments to be made through your app could clearly ensure that the stylist or beautician is available when and where you need them. Customers could pay in advance for services or products that they know they need, confirming and tipping after completion. Imagine if you could include a great way to introduce new staff members, or make a notation about the departure of certain staff members through push notifications or messages to your clients. If you could prompt people about an upcoming appointment, or let them know how much you’ve missed them if they haven’t been by in a while, wouldn’t you? What if you could remind that that having appointments on a regular basis is a smart idea, and possibly outline new products or services as they become are available… wouldn’t you do it? You can use this in-house f as a way for your technicians to order their products ahead of time and have it deducted from the money which they are owed or from certain accounts they have. This could also allow them to order product for others if they have a side business. After all, they work for you and they order your products. If they work for someone else but order the products from you, that’s a great way to increase the bottom line of your business and perhaps keep these people purchasing from you if they decide to leave your organization.
If you have new products, such as specialty nails, a famous stylist coming from out of town, etc., you can use your app for booking in advance, rescheduling, etc. In a pinch, someone who might have to cancel appointments can automatically re-book at their earliest convenience, contacting everyone who is being displaced, and still allow them the opportunity to alter or re-schedule their new appointments
When you think back about how many appointments were being lost, and how many customers are not being able to set appointments because of scheduling hiccups, you’ll see your beauty mobile app as a business booster you’ll never give up, and couldn’t live without.
Ordering & Delivery Stores.
Some places offer so many items that its nearly impossible to keep track of them all. Be assured that people need them, but do not know how many you have on hand. With new sales constantly underway and rewards being offered for convenient and returning customers, ordering and delivery stores have a great deal to be gained from mobile app development. Your business can offer great objects to your customers and all people without requiring them to go to a website or order over the phone. Imagine that a customer or vendor could open your app, order the product (or a large quantity of the product) directly from the app, and find out how many their are, as well as when the product will be available, or how soon it could ship. How convenient would that be? Any business with product catalogs, online ordering or delivery could benefit from these kind of apps.
What if the app user want to know how many of a certain product is currently available in the warehouse? The information is right there and available on the spot. What if your customers need a price quote, or wish to know whether there is a price break between ordering 20 of them or 50 of the item? Taken care of. Can the vendor know the proposed delivery date if they order right now? They can. This could allow your customers to conveniently know everything they need to order from you and to keep you as their loyal vendor or provider. Imagine being can look up the descriptions of individual products, check those prices… Everything that they would ever want without having to have internet access on their computers.
Health & Fitness
For items which seem to based around counting, confirming, and goal-setting, mobile app development has a great place in the health and fitness industry. Imagine how fantastic it could be to integrate scheduling, statistics, current weight, and location controls with your business. Analytics and changes over time can be a major factor in the usefulness of your app. Being able to schedule time with your personal trainer or guru and pay in advance for meetings or classes could be a major boon. What if you could request your one-on-one session happen at a park, a nearby facility, or even at your home? Buying a package deal and then scheduling a series of appointments which are convenient for your customers could be the kind of service offering which boosts you to the top. Purchasing products? Tracking your reps? Its all possible.
Communication and tracking options can really be a game-changer in this industry. Imagine being able to be in touch with your fitness or yoga instructor on the spot. What if you could film your lift or stance and ask for feedback at a distance? What if your app could automatically track your run, giving an average speed per mile, showing the route you took and how long it was, and then allowing you to post the map with text and images directly to your social media feed? Could your app look at your rep count and weight from last week and this week… and then suggest a weight/workout routine for the upcoming week? What if you got forwarded deals or coupons for using secondary services such as acupuncture for yoga enthusiasts, or lunchtime invites to a studio in your area? What if push notifications prompted your users to get in a short run if they haven’t logged in recently? Sometimes a little push is all it takes to get a customer back into using a product or service.
People take their health very seriously, often starting with a system which is convenient and easy to use. If your company isn’t taking advantage of a the self-improvement market to find and connect with new customers, you should really consider how mobile app development could improve your niche positioning.
The Future Of Mobile
In 1998 websites weren’t very popular, but now your business isn’t legitimate without one. In 2008, facebook began gaining popularity and had 1 Billion monthly unique visitors 4 years later. Whether you use it or not, social media is everywhere. Mobile advertising is now the norm, driving 75% of all ad sales in 2018 with Billions on the line. Its almost 2020. By 2030, every business will be using a custom app to interact and engage with their customer base. When that happens, don’t you want to be well-established with a strong market and an entrenched position? Or would you rather be looking back at 2020 as the year you let the boat go by?
At Generate Design, we work with large and small businesses to create the products that turns heads and sets them apart. As the best mobile app development company in the Raleigh-Durham, NC area, our team approaches each mobile app development project with a 5-part plan:
- Planning the mobile app development with our clients from start to finish
- Designing a product to meet both client and user needs
- Build a working application with prototyping and testing
- Submitting the finalized product to the apple store and google play/android store
- Managing the final mobile app development through a backend dashboard to ensure the highest level of functionality and user experience
Contact Generate Design today and lets discuss how building your app today will allow you to ensure a successful tomorrow.